Lion "You’ve Got A Woman"
If you’re looking for practically unheard soul gems of a vintage slant, then you’re either looking to Numero Group to dig through the crates, or your knees are dusty and sore from rummaging around the fine (but unkempt) record stores across this fine nation and beyond. This time around, they have a single from the the little-known Dutch studio pairing of drummer Peter de Leeuwe and vocalist Glenn Robles, who recorded just one 45 in 1975, “You’ve Got A Woman.” A tune with hints of disco, Shuggie Otis vibes, and a chorus that just won’t quit. Check it out!
Andrew Cohen & Light Coma "Unreality"
Andrew Cohen, of the bands Silkworm and Bottomless Pit, and Light Coma, of the band Light Coma, have paired together to form Andrew Cohen & Light Coma. Their debut, Unreality (Comedy Minus One), is a rock and roll fantasy. Light Coma bring a Crazy Horse versatility to every song (mostly electric, occasionally acoustic) as Andrew Cohen’s dry vocal delivery pairs perfectly with the smoldering band. Recorded by both Matthew Barnhart and Steve Albini (fun!) this is a record for fans of records. The whole thing gels tightly together as it weaves from distorted burner to Magnolia Electric Company-esque acousticality (is that a word? my computer sure doesn’t think it is). Check out the duel guitar attack of “Repack.”
Pet Symmetry "Vision"
For a band that was never really meant to happen, Pet Symmetry sure happen. What started out as an “excuse to goof off” for Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It.), Erik Csaja (Dowsing), and Marcus Nuccio (What Gives), a place for them to funnel their lighthearted whims that might not have a place in their full-time bands is now a band with multiple LPs and famously fun live shows (silly matching outfits will do that to a band’s reputation). Vision, their first for Polyvinyl, is a riotous pop-punk potpourri of pleasure (unnecessary alliteration all my own). Sometimes they sound like the brothers Kinsella, other times they sound a bit like the Nirvana b-sides and rarities collection Incesticide. Other times their sound shifts to… you know what? This is a side project born of indulging weird ideas, and thusly makes the sound hard to describe, but easy to enjoy. Check out the energy to spare rock of “Stare Collections.”
ALA.NI "You & I"
Somewhere between the jazzy pop music of the 30s and 40s, and the music of early Disney animated films, we have the deceptively simple sounds of ALA.NI. Having done some work as a backup singer for Mary J. Blige and Damon Albran, You And I is the record that cements her as a fresh voice in a musical world that is sparsely populated. Her sultry vocals-often accompanied by an Andrews Sister-esque choir of herself-is often paired with only one or two instruments. But that’s all she needs. This record is all about her vocals and her songwriting skills. Plenty of revivalistic coos and throwback-y touches, but with a modern sheen makes this record timeless and timely simultaneously. I know, that sounds like some magic. Well, that’s because it is. Check out the “Dream A Little Dream Of Me”-esque “Cherry Blossom.”